David Williams will miss Manly’s NRL opener against Melbourne after failing to recover from a knee injury.

Former NSW winger David Williams is out of Manly’s NRL season opener against Melbourne on Saturday after failing to recover from a knee injury.

Williams sustained the injury during the Auckland Nines and it was initially feared he could be out for the season.

However after it emerged the injury wasn’t as serious as first feared coach Geoff Toovey was hopeful Williams, who scored 20 tries last season, would be fit to face the Storm at Brookvale Oval.

But Cheyse Blair will instead make his club debut following an off-season switch from Parramatta.

Peta Hiku is selected on the other wing due to Jorge Taufua’s shoulder injury with former South Sydney prop Josh Starling starting in the front-row alongside Brenton Lawrence.

Starling was a fringe player at the Rabbitohs, but gets his maiden NRL start due to the lack of available props at the club.

Former Brisbane bookend Dunamis Lui and youngster James Hasson are the other props in the 17-man squad.

Co-captain Jason King is still out as he recovers from a torn pectoral muscle.